Wandering Women in French Film and Literature: A Study of by Mariah Devereux Herbeck

By Mariah Devereux Herbeck

How and whilst can a story agent or voice be thought of unreliable? What occurs whilst narrative authority fails and, simply as importantly, why does it? As a method to answering those questions, Wandering ladies in French movie and Literature examines the phenomenon of 'narrative float' via in-depth research of twentieth-century novels and flicks.

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However, as Wilson has underlined, the flâneur is also a marginal figure who stands apart from the crowd: “He is essentially a solitary onlooker” and marked by an “ennui which seem[s] inescapably linked to the curiosity and voyeurism that are so characteristic” (95). The flâneur is thus both above the crowd and outside it: able to observe it from afar and critique what he sees. Many literary and history scholars have asked whether or not a female form of this iconic figure, that is, the flâneuse, could have existed.

As the novel’s original point of entry, this section effectively establishes Breton’s authority as narrative agent in Nadja’s story. , the search for selfidentity and not for that of the title character) and, second, through self-aggrandizement. Breton thus continues the theme of self-exploration that characterizes the beginning of this section of the book (Qui suis-je) by further suggesting that he is first and foremost interested in self-inquiry: “I will reveal what I, different from other men, have been born to do” (648).

C ATEGORIES OF N A RR ATI V E D RIFT According to Prince, narrative “privilege” is best described as “a narrator’s special right or ability. The narrator may be more 20 WA N D E R I N G WO M E N IN FR ENCH FIL M AND L ITER AT UR E or less privileged in knowing what cannot be known by strictly ‘natural’ means: for example, an omniscient narrator has complete privilege” (Prince, A Dictionary of Narratology 77). Consequently, reliability is determined often by how much privilege the narrator possesses.

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